Carrageenan in Dog Food
Moving on to the letter C in our 2nd A to Z Dog Food Ingredient series. Today we examine why Carrageenan is in Dog Food.
What is Carrageenan?
According to Wikipedia, Carrageenans are a family of carbohydrate structures that are extracted from red edible seaweeds.
Common names for Carrageenan
The most common names for carrageenan on food labels are alternative spellings including Carageenan, Carrageenen, and Carrigeenin.
Why is Carrageenan included in dog food?
Carrageenans are widely used in the food industry because of their gelling, thickening, and stabilizing properties. They bind strongly to food proteins such as meat and dairy. They are most common in loafs and pate style wet foods.
Is Carrageenan a commonly used ingredient in dog food?
Carrageenan is a fairly common dog food ingredient. It is present in over 20% of all dog foods although it is in over 40% of wet foods.
Common benefits or risks of Carrageenan
Food-grade (also known as un-degraded) carrageenan is on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s list of items that are “Generally Recognized as Safe”. The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) considers it an acceptable emulsifier, stabilizer, and thickener in pet food.
There have been several studies that suggest that carrageenan can be in instigator to cancer although it is not currently known as a carcinogen. (For a great summary on this research, read Chris Kresser’s recap)
Carrageenan might cause intestinal distress in some pets.
Slimdoggy Ingredient Comfort Level
Because it has no nutritional benefit and the possibility that it can cause stomach upset and might have a linkage to cancer, carrageenan gets the Slimdoggy Sad Face.
Miscellaneous facts about Carrageenan
Besides pet food, carrageenan is often used in ice cream, milkshakes and other desserts as well as diet soda, beer, pates and shampoo.
Carrageenan is thought to have anti-viral properties and several research studies have been conducted to determine its efficacy against the common cold and even HIV.
Sources and further reading
We're joining the Tasty Tuesday Blog Hop sponsored by Sugar, the Golden Retriever and Kolchak from Kol's Notes: